excerts from, Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound, 5th Edition

Upper Falls

Lower Falls

Cascade Falls and Bay from a viewpoint near the trail and playing in the spray below. Photos by Al Narath

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(Anchorage sketches are now in color)

#4-7).. CASCADE BAY:

Cascade Bay has one of the most outstanding waterfalls in the Sound.

Upon entering the bay, gradually favor the N side so that your course takes you within 75 yards of he N shore, 1/4 mile from the narrowest part of the bay, just before entering the wider head where Cascade Falls is located. A reef, whose shoreward extension is marked by a low grassy beach, makes off the S shore toward the small cove with a rock in its middle located immediately E of the entrance to the cove containing the waterfall. Depths of less than 10 ft. may be recorded near mid channel in this area. Deep draft boats should navigate with caution on low or minus tides.

Once inside the cove, the water deepens. Older charts show an islet about 200 yrds. SE of Cascade Falls. Because this area sank in the 1964 earthquake, the islet is now a large rock awash


We prefer the anchorage in 70 ft. off the gravel beach SW of the waterfall. The beach is fairly steep-to and does not have a view of the waterfall, but is close to both routes to the lake and gives children and pets a good place to go ashore.


One can anchor in front of the falls in about 60-80 ft., but it is best to locate the rock awash first. The bottom rises fairly gradually and the current from the falls keeps the boat headed into the falls without much swinging. We would avoid anything shallower than 40 ft. as the bottom appears rocky, the view of the upper falls is obscured, and this crowds others who may enjoy playing in the falls.


The anchorage in front of the delta shoals more abruptly. However, there is good, open hiking from here.


Anchor just off the bight on the S shore in 60 feet. There is adequate swinging room.


Cascade waterfall descends from a series of lakes fed by streams flowing from Eaglek Glacier, which caps the ridge above the anchorage. Eaglek Glacier, like all the apron or cirque glaciers in northern Prince William Sound, has been retreating steadily as warmer winter temperatures have raised the snowline, thus reducing the accumulation area. Lighter colored rock around the glacier shows areas of recent retreat.

If you don't mind getting wet, it is a lot of fun on a warm day to kayak or dingy into the waterfall's spray.


Waterfall trail: A well-defined and well-used trail leads from the edge of the gravel beach just S of the waterfall through the brush and woods and up along the edge of the waterfall and stream to the lake. There are some spectacular overlooks, but parents may wish to keep overly enthusiastic children close at hand as a fall would be fatal.


We prefer a longer, cross-country walk beginning from the gravel beach by anchorage #4, switch-backing up the hillside (requires good handholds in places and fondness for brush in the face) to the crest. Then, wander down through a series of openings separated by copses to the lake and follow the lake's edge to the outlet. There is no good route around the lakes from this side of the waterfall. Continue down the well-defined, waterfall trail to the beach. An animal trail runs along the bay's W shore through patches of skunk cabbage and a series of peatland bog meadows back to the beach anchorage. This is a good place to berry pick but make ample noise to let berry pickers know you are in the vicinity.


To hike to the other side of the lakes ascend from the delta (#6) as shown on the sketch. One boater reports hiking across the frozen lake. It felt very solid until just as he neared the W side, the ice turned mushy and started to give way beneath him. He was thankful to be able to return the long way.


For open ridge walking with good views, ponds and wildflowers hike up the ridge on the E side of the delta.

The States Prince William Sound Area Plan manages this area for both recreation and potential hatchery development. Uplands are owned by the Chugach National Forest, which manages the area for its wilderness qualities including dispersed recreation.

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The Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound is 202 pages, contains 295 Anchorages, 225 Anchorage Maps as above and is packed with years of cruising knowledge and research by the Lethcoes.

Cruising Guide